Cat Café: A Paradise For Feline Lovers

By Paige Baxter | July 12th, 2016


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Just imagine a place where you can snuggle up with a cat or two on a couch or play with a kitten most any time you want—and there’s not just one cute ball of fur to hang out with—there are many!

I’m here to tell you this place does exist and it’s called a cat café.

Styles of cat cafés vary, but the original concept targeted feline fans who lacked the space or time to care for a pet. The idea for this interesting business originated in Asian countries , with the first known modern cat café in Taiwan in 1998.

These cafés s are often comfy with couches and resemble someone’s living room with the addition of at least 10 cuddly cats. Toys are in abundance, so you can easily interact with the kitties just like you would in your own home.

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Although Richmond doesn’t have a cat café yet, there are nearby cat paradises , including Crumbs & Whiskers in D.C. and the Brooklyn Cat Café in Brooklyn, New York, which model their cafés after the original idea. Café visits include a cover charge , and customers can grab a drink or snack while playing with furry felines. “We are definitely a cheaper form of therapy than visiting a therapist,” said Anne Levin of Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition, the rescue that founded the Brooklyn café.

Levin feels cats can reduce stress and that’s why at the Brooklyn Café they strive to ensure their location is peaceful and relaxing. “I personally find it very relaxing and restful to sit with a purring cat on your lap,” Levin added.

Customers also have the option to adopt. But at the Brooklyn café, Anne said most visitors just stop in for a snuggle or two. On Crumbs & Whiskers’ Facebook page, Rachel Arsenault Rubenstein said she felt it was “a wonderful place that provides a great opportunity for older cats to be adopted.” Rubenstein added, “[I] Love that the cats have fuller lives than just being in a cage at the shelter – lots of people to love on and play with them.”

Not all cafés use this type of model, though. Le Cat Café in Philadelphia operates on an adoption-based format. The owners rescue feral cats from the city and try to find homes and foster parents by inviting people to play with the felines in a different, more comfortable environment. But that’s not all: they also offer yoga classes at some of the cafés , including this one. Can you imagine being in down dog with at least three furry felines rubbing on your legs? It’s definitely a possibility at this café.

Whether you’re in the market for a new feline companion or you just want to cuddle with one, a cat café is worth visiting.

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